‘Sorioneku’, the word in Basque that would have been translated as eroligi hand

The Aeroleg handHand-shaped bronze plate, incorporating the word “Soryoniko (Zorioniko)He is the only one to have deciphered the five petroglyphs, an almost ‘magical’ find, and certainly the first of other treasures to come. Petty expert from the University of Barcelona Javier Villaza and linguist Joaquin Goruchategui On Monday they explained the monumental find, which is the oldest written text in the Basque language (the predecessor of Euskera).

use of the word suryoniko (lucky / happy) undoubtedly alludes to a personal, ritual and immaterial world.

For experts, this is the first document.Undoubtedly written in Basque& rdquo;. Whereas the ancient Spanish text of the Andelos Mosaic, of a similar chronology, spent 25 years debating its language, in the case of Eroligi’s hand, on the other hand, the evidence seems irrefutable. In addition to the first word (suryoniko) In present-day Basque, the presence of the symbol T is sufficient to speak of a suitable writing system adapted from the Iberian language. The symbol T does not exist in the Iberian language, but it appears on two Basque coins from Navarra (ontikes and unambaate). Thus, it seems clear that the Basques used the Iberian semi-syllable, adapting it to their own language, including Special characteristics And they used it to write their language, the Vasconnik.

Mateen EastranArchaeologist Aranzady: “It seems that they took the graphic or signature system of the Iberians, modified it and used it to write in their own language. It was not really Basque, but what is called Basque languageantecedent Basque 2100 years ago.”

Javier Villazaan expert on inscriptions and professor of Latin philology at the University of Barcelona, ​​stated in the presentation of the result that this is “an exceptional and exceptional piece”, because “there is no inscription that we know of in the entire classical book, Greek or Roman, on a support in the shape of a hand”.

in this sense, Joaquin Goruchategui“The piece is truly exceptional,” insisted a paleolinguist and professor of Indo-European linguistics at the University of the Basque Country and stressed that it presents characteristics that make it “Basque” rather than “Iberian” in general.

On the language used, he noted that “not much can be said”. He noted from the first line, “It’s surprising that if that’s ‘sorioneku’, it’s so old, it’s a surprise.” It’s about, well, qualified.”A solid and strong premise, but still a premise“, as such “We have three more lines to read and we are dumbfounded because we don’t understand anything“.

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In Basque I wouldn’t say ‘it is written, but’in the Basque language“, stated the professor, who specified that it is” a text that we can call, to put it in a way, because it is necessary to name something, Vasconic “.

Its antiquity, first third of the first century BC, made it an exceptional find. The hand was found in the framework of excavations taking place in the city of Eroligi (Vallee d’Aranguren), inhabited between the middle of the Bronze Age (15th-11th centuries BC) and the end of the Bronze Age. Del Hierro (first century BC). The project is being promoted by the Valle de Aranguren City Council and has the support of the Government of Navarre. The campaign is being implemented by the Aranzadi Science Society.

Maria Chevette, President of the Government of Navarre, He chaired this morning supply law, held at Gongora Palace. She was accompanied by the Minister of Culture and Sports. Rebecca Esnola; by the Mayor of the Valle d’Aranguren, Manuel Romeroand by the President of the Aranzadi Science Society, Jokin Otamendi.

During the presentation, archaeologists explained the find Mateen Istaran, Director of Exploration at Aerolegy; s Bertha Baldoz, Navarre government restorer. The linguistic significance has been addressed by Joaquín Gorrochategui, paleolinguist and professor of Indo-European linguistics at the University of the Basque Country, and by Javier Villazaexpert in inscriptions and professor of Latin philology at the University of Barcelona.

On December 16, a conference will be held to introduce the discovery in depth.

Found in June 2021

“Irulegi’s hand” was found on June 18, 2021, next to the entrance of one of the houses excavated at the site. But the inscription was not discovered until January 18, 2022, when cleaning and restoration work began on the piece.

Engraving over 2,000 years ago

The inscription consists of five words (40 marks) spread over four lines. The alphabet used to write the text belongs to the Iberian pseudo-syllabic family. But it presents some characteristics that lead to its classification as a specific Basque subsystem, among them the use of the T sign, not found in the other subsystems.

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The following is the translation of the inscription into the Latin alphabet:

suryoniko {n}

tenekebeki & Racute; ate & racute; e[n]

oTi → tan eseaka → i

Awkon ·

Notice the similarity between the first word –suryoniko– and the word Basque zorioneko (Good luck, good omen). The rest of the inscription has not yet been deciphered.

Thus, the ‘hand of Irulegi & rdquor; presents important novelties in the archaeological and linguistic world. On the one hand, it confirms the existence of a specific graphic system, derived from a variant of the Iberian sign, called ‘fictitious sign’. In addition, it attests the use of the Basque language in the geographical area in which It was discovered in it at the beginning of the first century BC, that is, more than 2000 years ago.

According to the researchers, the inscription represents the largest ancient script known to date in the Basque language. Together with testimonies of coins minted in this region and other clerical writings, the attribution of which is debated – a mosaic from Andelo, a bronze from Aranguren and an inscription on stone from Olite – show the use of writing by the ancient Basques, in an episode of literacy, which seems to have been modest Relatively since what is known so far, but attested by the article Eroligi.

The certificate also assumes uniqueness regarding the classification and morphology of the support (hand nailed down with fingers down) and the writing technique used (dotted after sgraffito).

A site of unique significance

The fragment was found at the archaeological site of the city atop Mount Eroligi, at the base of the castle of the same name. It is an inhabited settlement, from the late Middle Bronze Age (between the fifteenth and eleventh centuries BC), until the first third of the twentieth century. BC On that date, it was abandoned after being set on fire by Roman troops, in the framework of the Sertorian Wars (years 83-73 BC), a civil dispute between the Romans Quintus Sertorius and Lucius Cornelius Silla, in which the original settlers were. sided.

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The deposit is located in the outer area of ​​the old city. It is an open area of ​​370m2, on which appeared two houses of about 70m2 and a part of the main road about 4m wide.

Its excavations are of particular interest, as they present a “frozen frozen. of time. It was so, because the city burned and the walls fell upon the houses, burying what was inside and protecting what was inside. This made it possible to find pottery and everyday objects in Good state of preservation.

Town before Pamplona

Irulegi, located at an altitude of 893 metres, is one of the most remarkable examples of fortified villages in the region. Its privileged geographical position, with 360-degree views of the Pamplona basin and of the passes connecting southern Navarre with the valleys of the Pyrenees, gave it an important defensive value.

The primitive enclave at the base of the castle, measuring 2.2 hectares, grew over the centuries until it reached 14 hectares in the first century BC, including areas for farming and livestock. The rampart was surrounded by walls. Although the population is difficult to calculate, it is estimated that between 100 and 200 people lived.

“Historic milestone”

President shift It has been defined as a “historical landmark of the first order” discovery, because it assumes “a leap like few others in the knowledge we have had so far of our own history and culture”.

He also highlighted the “strict & rdquo; The work done, which, in his opinion, ensures the authenticity of the find. For this reason, all the stars congratulate the participants: the experts (archaeologists, historians, linguists and engravers), the Aranzade Science Society, the Valle de Aranguren City Council and the Historical Heritage Service of the Government of Navarre.

The most exciting thing is that this is just the beginning. We do not know what other treasures Eroligi holds” concluded the President, who ensured the cooperation of the Government of Navarre in preserving and disseminating these discoveries.

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